Instant Messaging (IM) security software and appliance vendor FaceTime Communications has secured an additional $16m funding from investors.
The firm, which operates a 100 per cent channel strategy in the UK, promised to plough some of the money into its partners.
Ken Sharman, UK country manager at FaceTime, said: "The money from this round of funding will be used to support our channel development, international expansion and promotional activities."
FaceTime's flagship products include an IM proxy server that performs tasks such as identity management and message recording, and a security product that carries out deep inspection of messages.
Sharman added that the firm is working at the high end in partnership with VARs such as Harrier Zeuros and Gresham Computers. "We have significant contracts with customers that have over 40,000 users," he said.
Sharman predicted that the next two years will see demand rise significantly. "Within 24 months all UK companies are going to start using IM as a business application, which means they will have to buy management and security tools," he said.
Analyst IDC expects the global messaging applications market to more than double to nearly $2.4bn by 2007.
Mukesh Gupta, managing director of FaceTime's sole UK distributor e92plus, said the investment will help improve understanding of the security issues facing IM users.
"People are using IM the same way they were using email a few years ago but the growth curve is steeper. The funding FaceTime has received reflects this," he said.
"This is good news because there needs to be more investment in marketing and training."
Gupta added that e92plus has signed about 10 resellers to train on the FaceTime products. "The market is not seeing IM as a top priority, but it is moving in that direction," he said.
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